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topic 23536p3

Spray chroming with silver nitrate

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A discussion started in 2006 but continuing through 2019

March 23, 2017

Q. Hi, thanks Andy Tan for reply..

Team, please help to make perfect silver mirror solution 1 l.

getting confused in.. AgNO3+NH3+KOH
rcho+OH and other.

How much is this require for. Suggest me the quantity, both the mixtures; please suggest quantity grams required for all chemical and steps. I will be grateful to you.

sameer haque
- delhi india

March 28, 2017

Team please help.

sameer haque
- delhi india

March 29, 2017

A. Mr. Sameer Haque, when you first published your question about the issues you had with high surface tension you were having with your PU base for the Spray On Silver process, I believed that you had figured out the process and the chemicals, but it seems that you are starting from scratch.

Let me tell you my story in hopes it may help you in the long run.
When I first saw a video of "Spray On Chrome" done by one of the big players in the industry, I was beside myself, amazed, it all looked like magic and I made up my mind that I wanted to do this as a business. Then I found out just how expensive this can be, but I was not discouraged, I thought that maybe if I could get myself the basic chemicals I could make it big, be the first Nicaraguan in this business.
After learning that spray on chrome was really just silver spraying, I dedicated countless hours learning just the basics (I had not found this very helpful forum); I purchased expensive Silver Nitrate, Sodium Hydroxide, Ammonium Hydroxide and inverted sugar (table sugar and citric acid), the basics of Tollens' reagent; it all worked very well in test tubes made out of glass. I said to myself that I was ready for testing on properly prepared plastic pieces (plastic spoons), but nothing --nothing-- was working; the chemicals were not staying on the spoons, and I kept wasting precious time and money. Things were not looking good; I was desperate and only myself to blame because of the countless variables, but I was too dumb to know when to quit.

It took me about 6 months to save enough money to purchase and bring silver mirroring chemicals (spray on chrome chemicals were out of my league), surely this time I would make it ... Big and Success was a matter of time. I got the chemicals, I had the plastic spoons ready, but things didn't go as planned; I was able to Silver the spoons, but I had issues with the basecoat and clear coat, they were interacting with each other, ruining the test pieces. I was very disappointed, but progress was made nonetheless.

I gathered up strength and money again for one last try, the third one had to be the charm right?, I learned that automotive clear coat was the best (albeit it introduced higher surface tension as opposed to single component enamels that were more glass-like in nature). So I purchased a wetting agent, automotive base/clear coat and chemicals from trusted Mirroring company (they didn't know anything about spray on chrome yet so no hope for tech support). Wow! I was very impressed with the results, beautiful first surface mirror on properly prepared plastic spoons (simulating a future working piece), but I was not out of the woods yet; as impressive as the silver mirror was, my next and last obstacle to success was the top coat -- it turned all of my working pieces to yellow tone; I was in trouble: unless my future clients wanted colored chrome (which I did plenty in blue, gold, red), I could not make the pieces look like real chrome. I tried ever single cleat coat available and none worked, I was really disappointed. After a few years of research, a lot of money invested, time wasted, sweat and tears all for naught, but I was too close to success to give up, and again too dumb to quit.

So yet again I gathered up strength and resources to bring the needed chemicals and tools, so after years of self research, a lot of money spent, sweat & tears I was able to accomplish what I set out to do. But success is a relative term, and Business Success and a Successful Spray On Chrome set up are not the same thing ... I am still struggling with making beautiful art that is well paid and costumers that want that beautiful art for less & less money.

So here is my advise, I have a friend in the business in India; here is my email address (nicamarvin2005@yahoo.com). Contact me and I will send you his contact information; purchase the required chemicals and tech support from him and save yourself the grief you are surely going to experience.

Marvin Sevilla
- Managua Nicaragua

March 2017

thumbs up signHi. We thank Marvin for his yeoman work on this terrific response (and his dozens of other great responses)! We have included his e-mail address as he requested.

Angel Gilding [a finishing.com supporting advertiser],
Gold Touch [a finishing.com supporting advertiser],
G.J. Nikolas [a finishing.com supporting advertiser]

But in the general case we don't put readers into private contact with each other for a few reasons -- one of which is that this website is possible only through the generous support of our advertisers -- some of whom offer proprietary chemicals for spray-on-chrome.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

March 29, 2017

Thanks Mr. Ted Mooney, I appreciate your comments. Yes it's true we need to support our supporters and I am the first to advise to purchase from our generous advertisers if you intend to be serious about this business, I am not sure how the customs in India are about importing from U.S.A. based companies, but I pay a hefty fee and Nicaragua is basically only about 2 hours from the USA.
Please remove the email address as reference if you must, I believe he could get in contact with an Indian provider locally.

Marvin Sevilla
- Managua, Nicaragua

March 2017

thumbs up sign Hi again, Marvin. I was taking the opportunity to advise readers of our supporting advertisers, and explain that we don't generally want readers posting their contact info. But there are exceptions to every rule, and Sameer contacting you is fine in this case. Thanks again :-)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

April 8, 2017

Q. Hi,

Team, I need top coat suggestions.

Seems yellow silver after spray.

Please solve this issue. How we can improve this?

sameer haque
- delhi india

April 2017

thumbs up sign Best of luck cousin Sameer, and anyone is welcome to answer, but I'd suspect that we're pretty much done here :-)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

April 12, 2017

A. The fact that you have made it to the Protective Top Coat means that you have done some progress, which is good, but you are not out of the woods yet.

Okay, so why does the spray silvering turn yellow after clear coating it?
Unlike metals such as aluminum or chrome, silver has an optical property called thin film interference that makes it appear pale gold or yellow when coated with any thin transparent film even distilled water. To counter-act this phenomenon, it is necessary to tint the first layer you apply to the silver with transparent Violet . While blue is the color opposite of yellow in terms of light, many blue colored tints tend to look green when they are very dilute. The red tones in a Violet tint counteract the greenish look of the blue to give a pure chrome like blue, not every tint will work and professionals use automotive UV resistant Violet tints or what are called candy concentrate.

Here are a few videos I made about the subject.

Marvin Sevilla
- Managua, Nicaragua

April 15, 2017

A. I posted an answer to this question twice days ago, I was waiting for at least one to be posted, but it seems it got buried in the sea of questions that most likely spam this forum, it may get tiresome having to post the same answer multiple times, but I am sure I am not the only one so I will keep doing this.

To the question:

Unlike metals such as aluminum or chrome, silver has an optical property called "thin film interference" that makes it appear pale gold or yellow when coated with any thin transparent film even distilled water. To counter-act this phenomenon, it is necessary to tint the first layer of the top coat that you apply to the silver with a translucent violet tint. While blue is the color opposite of yellow in terms of light, many UV resistant blue tints tend to look green when they are very dilute. The red tones in a Violet tint counteract the greenish look of the blue to give a chrome-like appearance.

Marvin Sevilla
- Managua, Nicaragua

April 2017

thumbs up signHi Marvin, thanks for your generous & insightful response! Sorry for the delay on your posting; but since it's the second time on this thread that you've mentioned the delays, it's a good time to clarify ...

Yes, we receive more than a thousand spams per day, and we occasionally get swamped, especially when vacation week comes right before the Easter holidays. But as long as the e-mail was sent using the forms, they never get filtered into a spam box; and if they are answers from a regular responder like yourself, they ALL do eventually get posted.

We all must make choices, and my choice was to try to build a quality reference site via manual posting, rather than a hostile, spammy, ad hominem, automatic posting site ... even though it means people don't always get immediate answers. The single biggest time sink for me is that readers do not patiently use the search engine, so they post repetitive questions that were already answered, and they post on way off-topic threads when there were threads that perfectly matched their question. If every thread wanders into everything, readers can't find anything, and the threads drop out of google search ... so I just do the best I can, doing the search myself, rearranging & renumbering, separating & combining, but it does mean delays; so, yes, new questions unfortunately do frequently get buried, but 90 percent were repetitive or abstract, or posted against an unrelated thread anyway:-)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

April 28, 2017
Flame Treatment

A. I would like to add that I finally decided to use the Flame Treatment process instead of the wetting agent, I have tested it on small pieces and not only makes the highly hydrophobic surface of the articles very wettable and hydrophilic, it also provides outstanding adhesion of the Silver layer.

My concern was using a flame on a highly combustible article(plastic parts covered with petroleum base coating), but when properly applied the process is rather safe and the process is well documented and understood.

I am building a set up identical to this one on this video, Propane Torch kit for about $40 and a propane tank for larger parts.

Marvin Sevilla
- Managua, Nicaragua

June 14, 2017 2nd Request: August 15, 2017

Q. Hi everyone

I need help with reducer I am using 15 gm of L(+), 150mg D(+), 7gm Formaldehyde Solution.

It's not working. Do I need to change the quantity or replace the chemical?

Vishal Sharma

Vishal Sharma
- Chandigarh, UT, India

October 10, 2017

Q. I need help to give the best reducer for chrome spray.

waleed akh
- jordan amman

October 2017

A. Hi Waleed. Much of this thread has been on that subject. Please try your best to phrase ongoing questions in terms of what has been said because simply starting over is the kiss of death to a thread :-)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

July 24, 2018

Q. Hi All, I am from India. I've been seeing some youtube Videos of people doing spray-on Chrome. They are not showing the full process.

I've got a Paint shop here where I do custom paint jobs; I would like to do this spray-on chrome as well.

I have read all the threads
Here are the things which I have understood.

steps for Spray-on Chrome.

1. Prime the part which you are going to do.
2. Spray a black base coat.
3. Clear coat it using a 2k clear, in a paint booth. The parts should be dust free because whatever comes on your clear coat will been seen after doing the chrome.
4. Let it dry for a day.
5. Spray the wetting agent or Activator. Please help me how to make this wetting agent.
6. Wash it using DI water
7. Spray the silvering solution (from this thread I got some info on how to make the silvering solution thanks).
8. Spray the DI water again.
9. Anti oxidant to stabilise the silver. I don't know how to make it, please help me with this too.
10. Wash it with DI water again
11. Use air gun to kill the water drops.
12 Once dry, clear coat it with 2k clear
13.That's it, your done. Thank me later … please help with making the wetting agent and anti-oxidization chemical.

Raif rafi
Trust Hydro graphic's Printing - cochin, Kerala, INDIA

October 18, 2018

Q. Hi all, great thread, love all the info!
I have recently started with the silvering process after doing about a year of research to find the chemicals etc.
Heres what I have:
1. 5%m/v silver nitrate solution
2. Stannous chloride dihydrate
3. DI water
4. 30% hydrochloric acid

My mixture:
1. 10grams of stannous chloride to 50ml acid, then I add it to 2liters of DI water.

My process:
1. On clean piece of glass, I rinse the glass with DI water, I spray the glass with my stannous chloride mixture, I rinse again with DI water, I then apply the silver nitrate.

My Problem
1. It doesn't seem to work at all.
2. I have read about the wetting agent but I'm confused with what it is.
3. I get only a light brown kind of color that deposits on the glass.

Is there anyone that can help me out here.
Please I'm really trying to do this and I love the effect of it, if only I can get it to work.

Stephen Roberts

Stephen Roberts
Grafikings Hydro Dipping - Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, South Africa

October 30, 2018

Q. Please help me with agent reducer. What amounts for 1L of mix? I know it has dextrose glucose but I don't know other chemicals and amounts. Please help me.

Pablo Michelle Lopez
- mexico city, Mexico

January 23, 2019

Q. I'm from India, I need the formula for Silver, reducer and activator.
Here they sell it in small quantity in small container.
For activator A they pour it in 1 lt DI hot water
For silver they pour no 2 part first, and 3 and 4 simultaneously
Lastly pour container no.5 in 1 lt DI water
Can anyone tell me mixing formula for containers 1 to 5
I need the formula for manufacturing Activator, S and R for Hydrochrome; can anyone reveal the ingredients for each of them?

Saravanan [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Chennai, Tamil Nadu, india

January 2019

thumbsdown Hi Saravanan. The seller CAN reveal the ingredients for each of them, but I doubt that they will. You may be able to find some of the ingredients from the seller's SDS and technical data sheets though.

If you wish to copy someone's formulation rather than buying the product, or licensing it, or developing your own, that's your choice ... and reverse engineering is widely considered legitimate when it's done properly. But we can only post references to published information: books, technical papers, patents, etc., on such formulations because this is a no-registration-required website, many of the readers are strangers to us, and we have no way of distinguishing information that was legitimately obtained vs. what wasn't. Sorry but we can't participate in what could easily deteriorate into crowd sourcing of industrial espionage. Good luck!


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

February 7, 2019

I'm from India, I am workout diy spray silver plating but this chemical cad effect.so I need the Best formula for Silver plating solution(A), reducer solution(B) and activator.please guide me. I want Formula ratio 1000 ml. Please!

Mayuri Reddy
Jannat Enterprise - Hyderabad India

February 24, 2019

A. I would like to point out that when I first started with the so called Spray On Chrome process about 12 years ago, I had to adapt many old techniques and already proven processes to create my own DIY kit; I had to because any kits from proven manufacturers are worth many thousands of dollars and while the system I built was very sound, the weak link on it is the home brew chemicals and the Basecoat/Clear Coat.

I built my system around the LP Vinyl Record Silvering process, this process coats previously lacquered records with Silver using a two part chemicals mixed with a two part spraying gun.

For more info on the process you may want to check thread 45646 and thread 44444.

That will get you started with the Silvering process.
Let's say you master the Silvering process with your own home brew system (I never did), then the next step is to test Base Coat/Clear Coat system that will work with said system, I tried everything from lacquer to 2k Automotive coatings, I found the 2k system to be superior to non-catalyzed coatings, they give you super smooth glass like surface, but they are very hydrophobic, so stronger wetting agents are required (lacquer is very wettable in comparison).

In the end my home-brew chemicals did not produce reliable results always so I decided to purchase Mirror Silvering chemicals (much less expensive than spray on chrome chemicals) but my top coat was always turning the silvered process a yellowish tint, which is really not bad if you are going to make colored chrome parts (like blue, green, yellow, red) so I had to tint my clear coat with a Violet translucent pigment, while I wrote down the exact amount of tint per clear coat sometimes the ratio was off due to the manufacturer of the tint, now you can imagine how hard was to start over from that when the color did not match.

The entire Spray On Chrome process is unbelievably complex -- making your own silvering formula is just the tip of the iceberg -- you need to take into consideration coating compatibility, spray equipment settings (booth, compression, type of spray guns(cheap guns will give you cheap results), dirty compressed air will ruin your work).

Marvin Sevilla
- Managua, Nicaragua

February 2019

A. It's very simple, Marvin -- why are you trying to make it sound complicated?
(Joking of course!)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

August 20, 2020 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Hi everyone... I'm Lung; I tried chrome spray this month. But it always fails because I can't make the plastic surface I want to chrome to get wet. Any ideas for that? I'm trying to search the internet; it says you can't spray chrome without a wetting agent. Anyone know how to make a wetting agent? Do I have to use a special base coat? Thank you all.

Lung Xia
- jakarta Indonesia

August 2020

A. Hi Lung. Marvin Sevilla (whose post immediately proceeds yours now) is a highly accomplished chrome spray artist, and even he has struggled without success for 12 years trying to do without proprietary chemicals because of the difficulty of getting them in Nicaragua. He talks about the wetting agent on March 12, 2017 on this thread among other places.

Please give us your situation: are you using a proprietary system? If so, what do they say about the wetting issue? Or are you trying to develop a spray chrome system all by yourself? Thanks.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

August 20, 2020

thumbs up sign Thanks for replying uncle Ted. I'm just interested, and want to try it by following the instructions on the internet. But failed to make the surface wet

Lung xia
- Jakarta indonesia

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